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Gutter Cleaning

How to Clean Ice from Gutters

Snow covered roof with ice in the gutter.

For homeowners living in a cold climate wintery weather can bring many challenges. Snow, ice, sleet, rain and extreme cold can wreak havoc on your homes’ exterior and cause multiple problems, both inside and outside of your home.

One issue many homeowners will face is ice in their gutters. This can cause severe damage to the exterior of your home, and if left unresolved, lead to water damage inside your home. Properly removing ice from your gutters is an important step for every homeowner to take during cold weather.

Ice dams created by the buildup of material can tear the gutters from your home, unhinge shingles from your roof, and cause water damage.

If you’re faced with this situation, we have some suggestions on how to get rid of ice in your gutters safely, and without damaging your gutters, eaves, soffits, or roof.

Related Topic: Do you need gutter guards?

How to Melt Ice in Gutters

The first rule of ice removal from gutters is to never try to chop it away with a shovel, hammer-and/or chisel, or another tool because doing so could also damage your roof. Additionally, pouring salt (sodium chloride) onto the ice isn’t a good idea either. Rock salt is a highly corrosive substance that could potentially damage the roofing, siding, gutters and downspouts. And the poisonous runoff can also damage and/or kill foundation landscaping.

If de-icing your gutters is urgent, here are the things you’ll need to get the job done quickly and safely:

What you’ll need: Purchase some calcium chloride ice melter. This product is available at most local hardware and home improvement stores.

Here’s how to use it: Put the calcium chloride ice melter in a thin-fabric pouch—such as an old sox or pantyhose. Place the pouch so it lies perpendicular to the gutter you want to de-ice. Eventually, the calcium chloride will melt the ice, creating a channel for melting snow and other debris to flow freely through the gutter and away from the roof.

If you’re looking for ways to prevent ice dams from forming in your gutters, we have some ways you can do that too! Check out these recommendations below.

How to Prevent Ice from Forming in Your Gutters

In short, preventing your gutters from icing over translates to keeping your roof the same temperature as the eaves of your home. Increasing ventilation and insulation can help accomplish this.

Here are some ways you can increase ventilation and insulation in your home to keep your roof and eaves at the same temperature:

  • Add weather-stripped caps to your attic hatch.
  • Add a ridge vent paired with continuous soffit vents to circulate cold air under the entire roof.
  • Make sure all exhaust is directed outside.
  • Insulate your attic floor.
  • Seal and insulate HVAC ducts.
  • Patch any holes in insulation with caulk.

Steps like adding extra insulation to your home and using a calcium chloride ice melter can help you avoid water damage that may result from ice accumulation in your gutters. If you need help with ventilation and insulation projects, these local home service pros who can help.

Too Cold Out – Call in the Pros

De-icing your gutters can be a time-consuming and chilly process, but it is an important part of gutter maintenance that often gets overlooked (especially when it’s cold outside). Getting up on a ladder and cleaning your own gutters in the winter can also be dangerous.

If you would rather stay safe and warm inside your home, let the local pros at Window Genie take care of your icy gutters. We offer professional gutter cleaning and repair services that can help protect your gutters and your home from damage caused by ice. We also offer window cleaning (interior and exterior) and power washing services that can help keep your home looking great all year long. To learn more, give us a call, or request a quote online today.

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